The role of large banks in the financial system has been a contentious political and policy debate. In particular, critics have argued that big banks benefit from an implicit taxpayer subsidy stemming from their ability to borrow at lower cost. The argument pins this lower borrowing cost on perceived reduced risk due to the fact that these banks will be bailed out by the government if they get in trouble. That is the heart of the notion of “too big to fail” (TBTF).
After 118 days of waiting for publication, EPA finally published its coal ash rule in the Federal Register. At $23 billion in total costs and plenty of legal battles to fight, perhaps EPA had its reasons for delaying publication.
The House has voted to repeal the estate tax. Viewed in partisan terms, the reaction from the left was predictable: “Today's vote to repeal the estate tax is just the Republicans' last attempt to tilt the U.S. tax code in favor of the ultra-wealthy campaign donors,” said Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott.
The American Action Forum (@AAF) today released an analysis of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulation regarding financial advisers. The AAF analysis finds that the fiduciary regulation may actually hurt low-and middle-income retirement savers by making investment advice more expensive and less available.
A recent trend in generic drugs has doctors, patients, and now anti-trust officials worried.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own estimates, its proposed power plant regulation could eliminate one-fifth of existing coal generation facilities and 80,000 energy jobs. The regulation, set for final publication this summer, would regulate emissions at existing coal and natural gas power plants, while also ensuring that consumer use less energy from coal facilities. Based on American Action Forum (AAF) research, this means that more than 90 coal-fired power plants could be retired across the country. Secondary employment impacts suggest that EPA’s power plant regulation could eliminate 296,000 jobs, about the population of Cincinnati, Ohio and more than the total number of jobs the economy created in February 2015.
The Department of Labor (DOL) took a mulligan on its first proposal to regulate financial advisers and recently re-proposed its second version of the so-called “fiduciary rule.” The measure would prohibit financial brokers and other advisers from taking compensation from mutual funds and then giving advice to investors unless they adhere to certain strict mandates.
Elizabeth Warren was at it again yesterday, calling for breaking up the big banks, lower interest rates on student loans, closing tax provisions described as Wall Street loopholes, and further limiting the ability of the Federal Reserve to be the lender-of-last-resort in a financial crisis.
About one year ago, AAF Policy Analyst Ben Gitis authored a paper examining the minimum wage and its effect on jobs: “How Minimum Wage Increased Unemployment and Reduced Job Creation in 2013”. To the Forum’s delight, the paper was not only cited early and often, but it’s garnered a strong, staying power online: it still garners an average of nearly 1,000 views each week.
Its success has raised the question: why?
The Department of the Interior (DOI) recently released a proposed rule that seeks to update requirements for well-control equipment known as blowout preventers (BOP). DOI based its standards off of findings made in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill.